St. James Update: Board Member Says Chances For Maternity Ward Is Doubtful

March 6 2015

HORNELL, NY – WLEA News has learned more about the agreement between the Independent St James as it is now called, and the UR Medicine and Strong.

In speaking with a board member, we were told that it was the efforts of Mayor Shawn Hogan to get the Rochester Regional Health and Rochester General involved, and that brought about the competitive situation.

Once the UR Medicine leadership knew they were in a competitive situation, they came up with a better plan than the original one from several months ago.  (That was a plan that was very unpopular with community leaders and most of the St. James medical staff.) Under the revised plan, UR Medicine has promised to provide specialists in Hornell, and the type of surgery being done now at St. James will continue.

As far as the number of employees to be laid off, the original number of jobs to be cut was about 580. Now there is talk of keeping 400 jobs at the new facility.

One board member we spoke with, said that the new plans, once implemented, could serve as a model for other rural hospitals.

However, one disappointing part of the new plan is that at point, it looks like there will not be a maternity facility in Hornell, however an agreement was reached to study the situation further.

A board member, who asked not to be identified, said that the decreased number of births in the area does not bode well for the return of a maternity ward. This plan must still be approved by the state health department. The association with CHE-Trinity, will end in late April/early May.

In the opinion of many Hornell officials, including Mayor Hogan and some doctors, it was the mismanagement of the hospital by CHE-Trinity, that brought about the current crisis at St. James.